Columbia International Affairs Online: Working Papers

CIAO DATE: 05/2015

Cyber surveillance regulations: Is the United States asking China to accept a double standard?

Theodore H. Moran

April 2015

American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research


China's proposed counterterrorism law, which applies to all information technology (IT) companies operating in China, and US "legal-intercept" regulations, which govern all IT companies operating in the United States, are officially acknowledged frameworks to counter terrorist and criminal behavior. Despite the similarities in these regulations, President Obama has criticized China's law. The US must prepare to see practices that it has already adopted become prevalent elsewhere or be ready to modify US surveillance behaviors that US authorities do not want to see spreading around the globe.